Living Well presents “Remember When” Fall and Fire presentation

Fire Chief Robin Paulsgrove with Chris Johnson, Bert Witherspoon and Captain Charles Schenck

Fire Chief Robin Paulsgrove with Chris Johnson, Bert Witherspoon and Captain Charles Schenck

Marie Milleage

The Denton Fire Department presented a funny, comedy-variety show on April 15 to residents of Robson Ranch Denton. Captain Charlie Schenck from the Denton Fire Department introduced the fall and fire prevention program with skits focusing on three prevalent areas including falls and tripping, fire prevention and maintaining medical records and medication lists.

On April 15 Charles Schenck, Bert Witherspoon, a firefighter and paramedic, and Chris Johnson, a paramedic and emergency vehicle driver, played various roles in the show reminiscent of three 1970 television programs. Instead of lecturing to residents, the troupe performed a Smothers Brothers song and patter skit that addressed keeping at least a three-foot parameter around space heaters and staying in the kitchen when cooking. Johnson advised, “The number one cause of house fires in the City of Denton is cooking fires.” The characters were humorous as they played ukuleles and worked their way through two verses of a tune focusing on cooking and heating.

Portraying characters from the Odd Couple, a fall prevention segment kept residents laughing as Captain Charlie, playing Felix Unger, littered the area much to the exasperation of Oscar Madison, played by Bert Witherspoon. Litter and clutter are catalysts to tripping and falling, as well as stumbling over dropped objects. Witherspoon cautioned, “You are twice as likely to die from a fall as someone younger if you are over 65, three times more likely if you are over 75, and four times more likely if you are 85 or older.”

Schenck and Witherspoon performed a Lt. Colombo mystery skit and illustrated the necessity of recording current medical history and storing it with medication information in a vial placed in the refrigerator or in a magnet-backed pouch attached to the refrigerator. The firefighters explained that EMT or Paramedics would look in the home for some type of receptacle containing this information in order to administer appropriate, on-the-spot medical attention.

At the conclusion of the program, the firefighters answered several questions about 911 emergency calls and discussed routing of 911 calls that may go directly to Denton County instead of the City of Denton depending on the originating location. In response to concerns related to fire alarms and smoke detectors, the firefighting team suggested testing the equipment monthly, changing batteries at least once yearly and replacing a 10-year old mounted alarm. The firefighters also recommended locating a fire extinguisher near the cooking area.

Denton Fire Chief Robin Paulsgrove, a Robson Ranch resident, addressed the audience and gave a public safety update on the ambulance proposal and the planned new fire station located one mile closer to Robson Ranch. Assistant City Manager John Cabrales, Jr. joined the group to thank Robson Ranch residents for arranging the safety awareness program.

Captain Charlie Schenck is with Denton Fire Station 6A, is a 2015 Community Service Award recipient and is one of the founding members of the Denton Fire Department’s clown group developed 18 years ago. Captain Charlie has taught fire safety to senior, youth and other audiences for approximately 10 years.

DATCU, Living Well at Robson Ranch’s partner in sponsoring programs and seminars, provided door prizes and appetizing refreshments. Denton Regional Medical Center and Texas Health Presbyterian were partners with the Fire Department and furnished fire and fall handouts and vials to hold medication information.

On its website the Denton Fire Department’s section on Senior Fire Safety reviews the areas of awareness when cooking, electrical cords and outlets, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, tripping and falling and planning and practicing an escape route from your home. For additional information about the Denton Fire Department, go to and click on Fire Department under Departments and Services.

For additional information about LWRR seminars, please contact Marie Milleage at [email protected]. For more information regarding Living Well at Robson Ranch, please contact Susan Hebert at [email protected].

Here’s to Living Well!